Welcome mediauwant. First I am so sorry for your loss. And I understand exactly what you are saying. My 20 year old step son was killed in a car accident in Aug, 2012. Obviously unexpected. I've told family and friends many times since then, you never know when something like this will happen. Always keep in the back of your mind, this might be the last time you see someone, the last words you say to them. Will you be OK, if they leave and don't come back, with what you've just said to them? Or are about to say to them? If not, say something else. My parents are both in their mid-late 80s, and my sister and I do a lot of their care now, doing their pills, housecleaning, running them to doctor appointments, grocery shopping etc., When their time comes, I want to be able to say I was a good daughter, they know I love them, and I did everything I could to make their last days the best they could be. I also remember my mother saying years ago, that she hoped when she died it was close to Christmas. I asked her why? She LOVES Christmas. She told me she didn't want to wait too long to be able to sing Christmas carols with a choir of angels. So I know when her time comes, I'll be smiling all season long, thinking of her at choir practice with the angels. And none of that new fangled stuff either, it's going to be good, old fashioned choir music too! Maybe your wife is up there now, happily singing with the angels.
mediauwant, I took a little seminar last year on Grief during the Holidays. I typed up my notes and have given them out to a few others when they needed them. I am going to go find them, and post them here for you. God Bless, and Merry Christmas.
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1. Adjust your Expectations
a. It will be different, especially for the first and maybe second year after loss.
b. Things/people might irritate you, be prepared for it, donít let it control you.
2. Give yourself Permission to feel: WHATEVER. Ė Nothing is wrong, and different people will feel different emotions for different reasons. Often during the holidays there is a pining or longing, you are unsatisfied, itís like being homesick for the loved one who is no longer there.
3. Educate Others Ė prepare others to adjust their expectations of you, for first year especially, and maybe even a year or two after. It takes most people a year or two to come back to the feelings of enjoyment they once had, some longer, but it does happen. Just give yourself time.
4. Be aware that grief is unpredictable. It can be triggered by anything, a date on the calendar, a song on the radio, a sudden memory, and it can make the pain new and raw again for a while. Triggers can be different for different people, or even for the same person, what triggered it once, doesnít always trigger it. But be prepared for it to happen.
5. Family and friends grieving for the same person can have very different wants/needs/experiences. And thatís OK. Support each other in whatever you and they need, even if itís different. Compromise.
6. Have a Plan / Escape / alternate Plan (or even more than 1 alternate)
a. Be fluid. You can change your plans at any time, even more than once.
b. Know that sometimes the anticipation of the day or event is sometimes worse than the day itself. Take it slow, give yourself permission to back off or take time away if needed.
7. Maybe do things different this year. It doesnít have to be forever, but if you need to for this year, do it. If different family members need different things compromise between what was always done and something new. Support each other.
8. Intentionally memorialize your loved one. Donít be afraid to talk about them.
a. Light a candle representing that person
b. Instead of everyone saying what they are thankful for at Thanksgiving, everyone share a memory of the loved one whoís passed away.
c. Everyone wear something to remind them of or represent the loved one.
9. Know that it will change. It may take a year or two, and sometimes the 2nd year can be harder than the first, because itís more ďrealĒ that the person isnít going to be there. You expected it the first year with all the ďfirstsĒ, so the second year surprises you. But it will change, the enjoyment will come back.
10. Itís like at first the boulder of grief crushes you. As time goes on, you learn to carry it beside you, more easily. It doesnít go away, you donít forget your loved one, but you know theyíre beside you, with you.
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First of all Iīm sorry for Your terrible loss this year....I guess nobody who did not go through what You had to go through will ever know the pain!
Thank You for those words of wisdom....It is true what You said and I always try to let people know how much they mean to me....Contrary to what some people believe.....we can not read each others minds.
Please, take care and stay on the board....it will not take away the pain....but the people here are probably the best people You can find on the internet!!!! We will cry and laugh and smile with You!!!! That said
Merry Christmas to All and God bless You
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Hello everyone. My sweet little wife, Michelle, passed away this past April, so this holiday season is anything but happy. This probably isn't going to be your standard introduction here, but there is something in it for many of you to think about...
I would like to give you all something to think about. Is there a loved one, or friend, who means a lot to you, but your relationship with them is strained at the moment due to a misunderstanding, argument, or grudge? If so, consider this... You wake up one morning, like any other day. You get ready for work, as you chat a bit with your spouse (substitute any relation here that you wish), and leave for work. You come home after work, to find your spouse passed away in the bed you shared with them. This is what happened to me on April 16, this year.
Fortunately, Michelle and I had no disagreement going on at this time in our life together, but there were things that I feel I left undone and unsaid... and this is a burden I will carry for the rest of my life.
The point of my telling you this is this... We all know that death is inevitable, but what we don't think about is how it closes the door to you when a loved one passes. My advise to you is, if you are harboring anger towards someone you love, let it go right NOW. Love them, and cherish every moment you have with them this coming Christmas. You never know if there will be another one.
My intent with this message is not to depress or distress, but to light a fire under your ass to do what's best for you, and your loved ones. I do this in memory of my dear Michelle.
I read that posting links in this forum is frowned upon, so I will not do so. However, I created a Youtube channel, in dedication to my wife. If you would like to hear more about the amazing life I shared with Michelle, feel free to message or email me.
Update: Jeff Westover kindly gave me permission to post a ink to my Youtube Channel dedication to my wife. If you'd like to know more about this remarkable woman, and the journey I took with her, the ink is below. Thanks, Jeff.
Thanks for sharing Mark. I got very lucky in that my wife survived breast cancer and we can continue our lives together. I do remember how it felt though when I wasn't sure if she would make it, and I caught myself writing her epitaph many times. I can only imagine the pain and emptiness you must be feeling and I do hope you can find some peace and comfort in the coming year.